54 years ago she visited Orcas Island for the first time and decided that one day she would live there. 40 years passed before she returned and purchased a forested piece of land on a hillside populated with madrone trees, firs, beech, thistle, moss and rocks with magnificent views to the west. Throughout her life rocks, nature and landscape played an important role in her artwork. It was this attraction that convinced her that this was the perfect site to fulfill her dream.
She requested an open, simple, low maintenance design which works with the site in such a way that her connection to the island, forest and ledges were always present within the house. Each part of the house was to be designed to accommodate the inevitable bad hips, knees and back worn out from a lifetime of moving rocks, dirt and plants. The program consists of a combined kitchen-dining-living area, study, master suite, art studio and storage area with the flexibility to add bedrooms or an apartment.
The solution utilizes some of her favorite materials; old wood recycled from a 100 year old barn, rusty steel for the siding as well as moss and rocks salvaged from the building site. Large doors slide away to open the house to the expansive views, creating a living room in the woods. The entry garden bisects the house creating two zones while it carries the site into the house and the eye out to the view. The 800 s.f. art studio and storage areas are left raw to facilitate converting them to additional bedrooms at a later date. The house is built with structural insulated panels, LED lights, super insulated windows and a retention pond to conserve energy, reduce waste and preserve the environment.